WHEELING – Main Street Bank announced good news to its shareholders on Thursday afternoon – record profits, record asset values and the rise of a new chairman to its board.
Nick Sparachane will take the helm of the board from June 20, with current chairman Bruce Wilson going into semi-retirement. Sparachane has worked for Main Street Bank, which has operated branches in Wellsburg and Toronto, since its inception, and said he was delighted to see the bank continue to grow.
“I’m excited to step up…” said Sparachane. “We will continue to do what we believe in: community relations, increasing shareholder value, maintaining a focus on customer service. We’re not reinventing the wheel, and Bruce will be there. He will be with us, and part of what he will do is usher us into a whole new era.
Wilson will continue to serve on the board and, in January, in a part-time role, focusing on business development and relationship management. He was its president for 16 years.
During the meeting, Sparachane recalled the company’s early days, where Wilson played a vital role in setting up the fledgling bank.
“When this bank was created 21 years ago, we didn’t have a customer, we didn’t have a dollar,” he said. “We basically challenged Bruce… he went out and he brought his A team back. They started with seven or eight people, and now we have 90 people. No one would be here today…if Bruce took on this challenge.
“It’s been a fun race, but I’m 70 and I think it’s time to transition, to give someone else a chance for a while,” said Wilson. “No regrets, looking forward to the future.”
During the meeting, CEO Rich Lucas presented a summary of the bank’s business over the past year. He was especially proud of Main Street Bank’s participation in the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides funding to small businesses and communities in times of need, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lucas said he was extremely proud of the bank’s employees for being able to learn the new program from scratch, and praised their success, disbursing over 600 loans, with a total balance of $36.6 million, with 99% of loans cancelled.
“Payroll protection kept businesses going during the shutdown, and Main Street Bank jumped in,” Lucas said before the meeting. “We learned it inside and out…the new rules, the changing rules, and we got 600 PPP loans…all in the Ohio Valley, all in-house. We didn’t outsource anything, we learned everything, we took care of our clients and everything was forgiven except 1%.
“It’s a great statement for our staff, and our entire bank has joined us. If you weren’t there directly, you were helping by supporting the areas that needed support. … We didn’t outsource it, we didn’t use third-party companies. While they did this, the rest of the bank took over taking care of their roles, taking care of the closings and taking care of the 100 customers lined up in the lobby. It was a capital thing.
Additionally, Main Street Financial Services Corp. reached $607 million in total assets as of the new year, an increase from $511 million in 2020. That makes Main Street the ninth-largest bank in West Virginia, Lucas said. It also posted a record net profit of $5.4 million, or $1.56 per share for shareholders.
“(We have gone) from zero 21 years ago to the ninth largest bank”, Lucas said. “…It’s always a good thing when a 21-year-old company can report record profits.”